D. Logan wrote:I think this is something really important to consider, though I can't say I have an answer. Or, more specifically, that there is a single answer. I know that of the intentional communities that make it beyond the planning stage, most of them fail. I'd say this is almost certainly heavily influenced by internal conflict. People could point to successful ones as a guide-post for conflict resolution and that isn't the worst of ideas, but it isn't really universal either. I suspect a lot of it is going to be a blend of very clear rules on handling conflict and the 'culture' of the individuals who form the community. One group might all be content with simple majority, while another is going to prefer unanimous agreement. Both of those would lead to different forms of conflict and the means of resolving that conflict would look very different. Do you have an idea of what sort of decision making process and leadership structure you'd favor? Knowing that would go a long way towards designing an appropriate conflict resolution method I think.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:To me, intentional community is not about hierarchy, voting, organization, or decision making. It is about loyalty, commitment, and devotion to the goals of the community and to it's members.
Being part of an intentional community means that I make the community and it's preservation and smooth functioning the highest purpose in my life. Higher than my ego. Higher than my ideas, or my politics, or my habits.
Having a group of people with a devotion to the community makes a huge difference in how differences are handled. Knowing that I have vowed to be part of the community for the rest of my life affects every aspect of how I live, work, and play. I might as well apologize for mistakes right away, and learn how to avoid them in the future. No point holding onto my habits that don't serve the highest purposes of the community.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I preserve the community by keeping my vows to preserve the community and to hold it sacred. I change my attitudes, habits, opinions, lifestyle, diet, ego, location, or whatever else is necessary to preserve the community. I learn and teach whatever emotional, mental, or physical skills are necessary to preserve the community and help it function well.
I set aside my need to be right in order to preserve the community. I look deep inside myself to find the roots of my problems -- which I like to blame on other people, when I'm really just projecting my own shit onto the community and it's members.
It really sucks -- That moment when I have to say to myself, "Damn! Now I gotta figure out how to keep my vows to preserve the community". I was raised in an individualistic family, in an individualistic church, in an individualistic society. That childhood programming is deep and strong. There is a lot of joy and satisfaction in learning to set that programming aside for the sake of the community. That setting-aside has done more for my personal growth and development than anything else I have ever encountered.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My intentional community is not religious.